2009 will be the Year of the Deal for Travellers
Consumers have been bombarded the past few months with news on the worldwide slumping economy and ever tightening credit and lending issues. It has put a strain on consumers and businesses alike. The travel industry is not immune to these uncertain times as it is a key player in keeping the economy going. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), over 79 million jobs worldwide were directly attributed to the travel industry and another 232.6 million indirectly in 2007.
TripAtlas.com, the World's Largest Online Travel Resource has some advice for those worried about the economy: keep travelling! It will not only help the economy but be good for your mental health.
So, what are our predictions for 2009 in terms of great travel deals, top destinations for affordable travel and the best spots to spend your holiday or vacation during this time of economic turbulence? Read on for more!
Top 10 Travel Deal Predictions for 2009
2009 is going to be a great year for the leisure and business traveller with great deals and savings in all parts of the world. Deals on all types of vacations from all-inclusives to cruises to those once-in-a-lifetime dream holidays to exotic destinations.
TripAtlas.com has researched the trends, talked to the experts and through its comprehensive knowledge of the industry here are TripAtlas.com predictions for "Top 10 Great 2009 Travel Deals" by destination or type of travel.
1) LAS VEGAS - Hit hard by recent economic challenges, Las Vegas is fighting back in 2009, with some hotels offering room rates from as low as $29 a night!. The airlines are also offering some great deals to Las Vegas with good access from around the world. There's exciting live entertainment, interesting attractions & personal amusement everywhere. It's almost impossible not to have some fun in one of the world's top human playgrounds. For great deals consider the MGM Grand, The Wynn, Treasure Island, Mandalay Bay Resort, Caesars Palace, The Rio, Hard Rock Hotel, New York New York Hotel, Golden Nugget Hotel and The Venetian Resort. With lower costs and great deals now available, 2009 is a great time to plan a Vegas getaway. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas - and now all at a lower price.
2) NEW YORK CITY - As the US dollar has improved considerably over foreign currencies, there are less international visitors coming to the Big Apple. The tourism business has responded to this decrease in demand by offering substantial discounts - over 30% off many hotel rates. This is the first time in over a decade that some major hotels in New York have lowered their rates at this level. Plus, because so many domestic and international airlines fly into the greater New York area, there is great competition and thus even lower rates. Check with a Travel Agent for special New York package deals that will be available throughout 2009. Terrific live theatre, great shopping, hundreds of great hotels, wonderful food, museums, sightseeing, culture, history and more...New York always delivers excitement on a grand scale.
3) FLORIDA - The Sunshine State has been hit hard by these economic times and is responding with deep discounts just about everywhere throughout the State. Special pricing is now available at some of the most popular attractions including Disney World, MGM/Universal Studios, Busch Gardens, Sea World and others. Hotels have also responded with much lower rates on some of the best accommodation available including studios with kitchen facilities - a great way to save on family meals. Even Florida car rentals have lowered their rates. Whether you prefer the excitement and cultural opportunities of the larger Florida cities like Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, Orlando, Tampa Bay, Daytona or Jacksonville; the fabulous beaches on any of Florida's coasts, or the charm of the Florida Keys, 2009 is a great time to take the family and friends to Florida.
4) CANADA- Always a desirable worldwide tourism destination, and now with a recent drop of almost 20% in the Canadian dollar value against the US dollar, 2009 is the time to visit Canada - a country filled with exciting and vibrant cities like Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg. There is also the wonderful and people friendly Atlantic Canada provinces of PEI, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. Consider the Canadian Rockies and the beauty of Whistler and Western Canada and you have a most ideal destination - and now at substantially lower costs. Easy air access from anywhere in the world, Canada is one of the best places to visit and save in 2009.
5) CARIBBEAN - Take off to the world's sunny playground with hundreds of islands to choose from. Containing probably some of the world's best beaches and beautiful accommodation, the Caribbean offers a very relaxed pace, a variety of delicious foods, traditional island entertainment, deep sea fishing and other water sports, great golf and tennis facilities and duty free shopping at many specially designated marketplaces. Hit hard by cutbacks in the US, many Caribbean hoteliers have cut prices on deluxe resorts to stimulate more business in 2009. Tops on the list for great deals in 2009 include Puerto Rico, Barbados, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Mexico, Cuba, Cayman Islands, Bahamas, Saint Lucia, Aruba and Curacao.
6) ALL-INCLUSIVES - This type of holiday get-away continues to provide some of the best travel deals in the world! These "packages" often include just about everything you'd want on a vacation: accommodation, meals, snacks, drinks, activities, entertainment, sports, spa visits, sightseeing, classes, and more, depending on the facility. Some of the best all-inclusive packages offering outstanding value for 2009 include Beaches, Sandals, Club Med, Riu Hotels, Hedonism, Breezes, Sunset Jamaica, Occidental Grand Aruba Hotel, Iberostar Resorts, Couples, Paradisu Playa Conchal Resort, Costa Rica, Almond Morgan Bay Beach Resort, St. Lucia, Almond Beach Village, Barbados, Grand Pineapple Beach, Antigua, Dreams Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa, and many others. Check with an experienced leisure Travel Agent for details and special 2009 package prices.
7) CRUISES - There are over 100 major passenger cruise ships around the world - and hundreds of smaller river cruise vessels available today - most are feeling the affects of this tough economy and are cutting rates, fuel surcharges and including more benefits. Cruises already offer great value because they now include so much in the price, such as transportation from port to port, meals, snacks, entertainment and many other features. TripAtlas.com predicts cruise savings of up to 25% reduction in many prices in 2009, with last minute specials that will offer even better pricing during certain times of the year. Its best to find an experienced Travel Agent cruise specialist to find your best cruise value.
8) EUROPE - One of the original tourist destinations for centuries and probably the most experienced tourism providers in the world, European countries will offer some outstanding savings in 2009. Normally full to capacity almost year round, now many of Europe's finest hotels are reducing their prices for the first time in over a decade! Consider for best value, a package holiday to Europe with such tour operators as Trafalgar Tours, Insight Vacations, Globus Family Of Brands, Central Holidays Isramworld and many others. An experienced leisure Travel Agent is your best connection to help you reserve your best Europe holiday value.
9) SOUTH, CENTRAL & LATIN AMERICA - Long appreciated for its natural beauty and exotic environment, as well as some exciting international cities, this part of the world, long considered "expensive" to visit, is now available within many travel budgets, due to new tourism opportunities, more air service and lower costs predicted for 2009. This is home to the world's highest waterfall, Angel Falls, in Venezuela, the largest river by volume, the Amazon, the longest mountain range, the Andes, the largest rainforest, the Amazon Rainforest, the highest capital city, La Paz, Bolivia, and the world's most southernmost town, Puerto Toro, Chile. This is a great year to also explore Costa Rica, The Galapagos Islands, Brazil, Honduras, Belize, Panama and Columbia.
10) ASIA & THE MIDDLE EAST/GULF - This part of the world attract millions of visitors annually and like most places, is now feeling the effects of this worldwide financial challenge. Many travel suppliers in places like China, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore in Asia and Jordan, Egypt, Israel and other areas in The Middle East, are reducing their rates and offering reduced pricing in 2009. There has been an increase in air service to the Gulf region and into cities like Dubai, UAE; Doha, Qatar, and Abu Dhabi, UAE. Even more competitive airline pricing to these areas in the world will cut the overall costs for these destinations by as much as 25% in 2009. These are great destinations for the adventurous and discriminating traveller looking for a cultural experience.
Visit TripAtlas.com for all your trip details - types of food, currency, local customs, weather, types of accommodation, sightseeing attractions and just about anything else a traveller needs to know while planning an upcoming trip.
Don't forget to check out TripAtlas.com's Hotel Deals - you'll find great deals on hotels and packages from around the world - just a couple clicks of the mouse and you will find your vacation getaway in seconds. Take the stress out of travel planning - let the pros do it - TripAtlas.com has almost 90,000 travel agencies and agent specialists in its directory - they can do all the research and work while you concentrate on one thing - having fun!
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Steven Kaufman, CTC
Located: Toronto Canada